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Zarwin Attorney Greg Mallon Obtains Early Summary Judgment in Property Damage Case Brought Against Fraternity

Greg Mallon recently was granted summary judgment in a consolidated Atlantic County matter brought by a property owner and its insurance company seeking to recover compensation due to alleged property damage caused by their tenants. The tenants were students at a local college in New Jersey who were also members of a fraternity. After written discovery, but before depositions, Mallon moved for Summary Judgment on the grounds that the fraternity did not owe an independent duty to its members’ landlord. Plaintiffs’ counsel filed a reply brief arguing that the members were the fraternity’s agents and cited out-of-state case law to support that proposition. Further, Plaintiffs’ counsel argued that the fraternity had “notice” of its chapter’s behavior and should have prevented the property from being damaged. Lastly, Plaintiffs argued that more discovery was necessary to determine the involvement of the fraternity in the subject property.

Oral Argument was held and from the bench, the Court ruled that all claims against the fraternity defendants were dismissed. The Court agreed with Mallon’s position that the issues raised were a matter of law and that the allegations did not support a finding of duty or agency.

Mallon has represented numerous fraternities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and has obtained summary judgment or stipulated dismissal on numerous occasions.